Monday, February 21, 2011

So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

Rating: 5 stars

Publisher's Synopsis: Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy’s MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.

Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for  down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers. At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper.

But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it’s not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter’s instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.

How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown?

B Squared's Review: I decided to read the first novel in Jenny B. Jones' acclaimed young-adult series, The Charmed Life, after reading two of her adult novels. Although there are teenage elements to the plot, I found the novel very enjoyable and relatable. Bella Kirkwood is a self-centered and somewhat spoiled girl at the beginning of the novel, but she has a good heart which makes her likable.  Over the course of the novel, Bella re-evaluates her priorities, while maintaining her wit and humor.

On the surface, So Not Happening looks like a light read.  How seriously can one take a book with a cover featuring a designer handbag an a cute pink pig?  Yes, the cover is quirky, as well as the plot in some places.  Jones balances quirks and humor with infusions of faith, suspense, and drama.  Together, these elements create an engaging and steady plot.  I highly recommend So Not Happening to both teenagers and adults.  Will I read the next two books in The Charmed Life series.  Of course...that is so happening!

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